Half-Irish prodigy, 8, secures college place

AT eight years of age most kids’ grasp of science could be explained by the tenet that if it’s in a jar and wriggles, it’s biology and if it smells like rotten eggs, it’s chemistry.

But eight year old Ainan Celeste Cawley would probably guffaw at such simplistic and childish silliness.

The half Irish/half Malay wunderkind has set a new world record having just secured his place in a third-level college.

At six years of age, when most kids could not tell the difference between a Bunsen burner and a burger bun, he was regarded as a prodigious young scientist.

In fact, the little swot was the youngest person ever to have passed an O level, and in doing so weaseled his way by dint of phenomenal brain power into the Singapore book of records.

The chemistry child prodigy has entered Singapore Polytechnic to become the youngest student ever to attend a third-level course anywhere in the world. He will study a range of chemistry modules like a third-year perfumery and fragrance chemistry module, for the boy who was born with a nose for science.

Last year, Ainan launched a global search for a university to allow him to further his chemistry studies and Singapore Polytechnic offered him a place.

“This is the best practical experience I have ever had,” Ainan remarked while his parents Valentine Cawley, an Irish passport holder with Mayo roots, and Syahidah Osman Cawley, said: “He is very grateful for the opportunity to acquire the skills of a laboratory scientist.”


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